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Bangornrat Shinaprayoon: Stop talking about Phuket, get the job done

Phuket Needs Action Now, TAT Chief Tells All-Talk Committee

Thursday, September 8, 2011
PHUKET: It's time for action if Phuket wants to fix its tourist rip-offs, Tourism Authority of Thailand regional director Bangornrat Shinaprayoon told a meeting in Phuket City today.

Her call for Phuket's authorities to do their jobs came after 90 minutes of committee talk among 37 authorities or their representatives at Provincial Hall today.

As the TAT's regional representative for Phuket, Khun Bangornrat knows what Phuket needs. Usually she is demure and diplomatic. Today, after an hour and a half of still more committee discussion, with some participants clearly perplexed about what to do, she made her thoughts plain.

''Everybody knows what Phuket's problems are for tourists,'' she said. ''Jet-skis, tuk-tuks, taxis, touts. We know these things.

''Instead of talking, we need to act. These are urgent issues. It doesn't take a committee of 37 to resolve them. Those who can solve these issues should do their jobs immediately.''

She said the national government was looking closely at Phuket and its problems and the authorities responsible needed to be seen to be taking effective action.

Earlier, Phuket Police Commander Major General Pekad Tantipong said that cause and effect needed to be looked at to avoid ''domino'' issues that could spark more problems.

While the police were being pressured to solve the tuk-tuk and taxi issue, the cause was actually Phuket's lack of public transport.

The committee was established earlier this year to look at issues relating to tourism: public transport; tailor and time share touts; Sitting guides and environment/garbage/bad water.

Today was the first gathering since an inaugural meeting at the Tourist Police offices in Phuket City on July 20.

While today's committee meeting was taking place, local taxis in southern Phuket blockaded a resort for more than two hours because an unauthorised taxi had been called.

As long ago as April last year, Khun Bangornrat told Phuketwan: ''We are concerned about the tuk-tuk problem. Public transport for Phuket is the first priority.''

Has there been an increase in complaints? ''Mostly they are about tuk-tuks,'' she said. ''But there are others about over-charging. Over-charging is the main point that brings complaints.''

Comments

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Yawn, getting bored with this now!!!!

Posted by phuket madness on September 8, 2011 16:22

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Two days ago I took a metered-taxi at Phuket Airport but after few kilometers, I find out that he did not start its fare-meter.
I asked him to bring me back to Phuket Airport which he did by dragging the feet.
Upon at the metered-taxi counter, I complained loudly and after few minutes of argumentation, I went with another metered-taxi.
Both metered-taxis had plenty of tour brochures for selling daily tours to tourists and I do not understand why TAT Phuket does not do random checks in all tuk-tuks, metered-taxis, limousines and minibus to crack down about that bad practices to sell tours for big commissions directly inside all transport vehicles.
Phuket transport drivers are complaining and using road blockades to protect their businesses but they do not care to work illegally by selling tours to tourists which is unfair to legally registered tour companies.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 8, 2011 17:31

Editor Comment:

TAT is a marketing organisation. The control of taxis is more likely to belong to the Transport Department.

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@Editor Comment: TAT is a marketing organisation. The control of taxis is more likely to belong to the Transport Department.
I was thinking about TAT Registration which is in charge to register and control goods and bad behaviors of all tourism businesses and guides working legally or illegally.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 8, 2011 17:45

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Has there been an increase in complaints? ''Mostly they are about tuk-tuks,'' she said. ''But there are others about over-charging. Over-charging is the main point that brings complaints.''

Yes in a round about way overcharging is part of the problem but it relates back to the lack of public transport which is rooted in the presence of a militant taxi monopoly. So really this is cutting the bamboo before you get to the river as the Thai saying goes.

The core issue is the taxi/tuk-tuk monopoly and it has to be ended by administrating it and controlling the numbers of vehicles, fares, licenses. When you have ended that you will stop the fare issues and can then institute safe public transport. Attempting to install public transport or reasonable fares without this will only cause further strife. The lassiez-faire approach of hoping they will regulate themselves or the market will sort itself out has run its course.

It seems so simple and Bangkok surely has a better system that you could follow than what is going on here now. It is not like re-inventing the wheel. But since I doubt the persons in control read the Phuket Wan (they should) and if they do they don't comment, I have to wonder why this does not seem to occur to them or does not happen.

We can all speculate but really only those who's job it is really know why nothing has been done despite criminal acts, violence, obvious corruption and an attitude that seems to imply that a tourist industry here would be better if we didn't have to deal with those annoying tourists.

Personally I am far less concerned about rip off fares than I am by the violence of late. There seems a great deal of fear among the taxi cartel and a great deal of anger. I am far from bored with the topic, but I am bored with the lack of results and seriously concerned that some innocent person is going to be killed due to a lack of action. I don't think people really understand the long term impact that an innocent being killed by a "tourism" sector service provider would have on tourism. I seriously hope this doesn't happen but with the escalating violence and frequency it is a bit like watching a car drive off a cliff in slow motion.

Posted by Martin on September 8, 2011 17:56

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We are on our first and last trip to Phuket. Having to spend 1000 baht to get to and from a restaurant because there is no transport system means we won't be coming back. To get to the local driving range to hit a bucket of balls is 700 baht (15 min drive) the balls cost 70baht ! etc etc - getting around is a complete joke. Prices are all fixed by the local cartel. The bus service finished at 5.30pm ??? in a tourist destination ??? it is all a complete rip off.

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2012 18:41


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